Sunday, September 21, 2008

Return of The Peppermint Kid

Now that the book work is again caught up, I'm getting back to work on Bard's portrait.

A few weeks ago, you may remember, that I painted the background in greens, blues and yellows. After living with it a while, I realized that the background color was too intense and was competing with the horse for attention. What to do?? Remembering that the way to dull down a color is to mix some of its opposite into it, I decided to use cadmium orange to do the job. The opposite of green on the color wheel is red, but I didn't want to turn the green any darker and thought that orange might be a good compromise. It worked like a charm! After painting Cad orange over the whole background, I took a rag and wiped off all but a very thin coating. Voila! The background was put in its place, and Bard was again the center of attention as he should be.

Yesterday I began the main layer of color on Bard and managed to finish his face except for his eye. Bard is a lighter sorrel than my horse, Scottie, and I tried not to get him too red since I knew that Scottie's color would be very much in my mind. Unfortunately, I think I did anyway. My husband had taken the laptop with him for the weekend, so I couldn't set it up next to the easel while I painted. Instead, I had to run back and forth between the big computer down the hall and the painting, looking for details and the correct color. Not the best of working situations by any means, so next time I'll print out a few of the photos to use at the easel if I don't have the laptop to use.

As usually happens to all us artists, today I can see several changes and corrections to be made, so after this layer of paint is dry enough, I'll go back and make all the corrections and make Bard's head less red by glazing some Naples Yellow over it. That should do the job.

In the meantime, you can see that his head now looks more substantial than the rest of him as the paint is built up. I'll move on to his neck and shoulder for now and hope I can match the two areas later.

Bard has been in the works for a very long time now, and I'm anxious to get him finished up and to his owner before another holiday rolls around.

On another subject, I cannot let this day go by without recalling that it was 19 years ago today that I bought Scottie, my second and most beloved horse. He was a dream come true and came along at just the right time in my life to help pull me out of a very dark time. I truly owe him my life, and he has brought untold happiness to me ever since.

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